Good morning! Before I tell you about a fun documentary I watched recently, I have a few news items to share:
YogaHub is offering their annual virtual yoga conference in early February. I signed up a while back because I enjoyed last year’s so much. From the privacy of our homes, we can participate in a variety of conference calls related to yoga and health. Each call is an hour long, with multiple calls going on at the same time, so there’s plenty to choose from! It goes on for five days, and we can join live calls or listen to them later at our convenience. They usually have lots of giveaways, too!
For my writer friends, the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference will happen in July. People can come for one week, a weekend, or two weeks, and they can either sign up for workshops or take a writing retreat in the best time of year in Washington State. Fly in to Seattle, and Port Townsend is about a two-hour drive away. I’m frantically reading books by the faculty members to decide which workshop to sign up for. If you decide to go, get in touch with me, and we’ll find a way to say hello in person!
Finally, tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST, I invite you to switch off your Internet for 150 seconds to protest the consideration of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Under the guise of protecting jobs, SOPA may also hamper free speech. Please pay for your music and movies that you buy! I had made a few yoga recordings that got pirated, and I found that frustrating. Yeah, I know the recording and movie companies make obscene amounts of money, but they also support engineers and receptionists and other everyday people who need their jobs. So please pay for your stuff so that we don’t need legislation.
Okay, enough of the soapbox.
Now that the news is over, on to nonsense. What if you, as an aspiring actor, starred in a movie considered to be the worst movie ever? Further, what if, nearly twenty years later, that horrible movie gains cult classic status and starts to attract audiences? This is the tale of The Best Worst Movie, directed by Michael Paul Stephenson, whose dreams of childhood acting stardom were forever scarred by acting in a small-budget horror film called Troll 2.
George Hardy, a congenial small-town dentist who is loved by everyone who knows him, even his ex-wife, once had acting dreams, and performed — badly — in Troll 2. As the MySpace generation rediscovers Troll 2, Dr. Hardy and the rest of the crew experience a whirlwind tour out of obscurity. Screenings in New York and elsewhere sell out, and they are mobbed by adoring fans. Will the good dentist get caught up in the hype? Will the former child actors, embarrassed to put Troll 2 on their resumes, resurrect their film careers? Will the Italian filmmakers responsible for this slice of cinematic history rise to greatness?
Watching the movie, I couldn’t help but think how those of us who write, act, sing, tell jokes, or otherwise create something from nothing often worry excessively about whether our work is good, or if we’ll find an audience, or if we can get good reviews. The Best Worst Movie reminds me to not take it all so seriously. It also reminds me to keep on keepin’ on when I get discouraged, because one never knows when one’s work will be recognized. Of course, I think we would all prefer not to be the butt of a joke if it does, but most of the actors in Troll 2 handle their infamy with good humor.
Rotten Tomatoes gives The Best Worst Movie a 94% score — Troll 2 fares less well, with a whopping score of 0%. Yes, 0%. Interesting to note, though, that 43% of the public liked it! Go figure.
I guess for the purposes of this blog, the point is this: go ahead and live your dreams. Write that book or play, make that audition, go back to school. This journey we call life is a crazy one, and you never know. Even the things that look like epic failures may have the seeds of success in them!